The following is a slightly edited version of a post that I wrote in 2009 on my former blog.
Samuel Adams signed the Declaration of Independence. He holds the title, “Father of the American Revolution.” He also ratified the U.S. Constitution, and he became the second governor of Massachusetts. I wasn’t able to find much about his personal faith. One source said he was a Congregationalist, which is more of a movement than a denomination. He had faith in God and he alluded to Jesus Christ in his public life. I concluded from my readings that Adams was a Christian, but I didn’t find anything attesting to his level of commitment.
An illustrious patriot of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams, had this to say:
A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy… While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader… If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
No doubt Samuel Adams advocated for virtue. Do we know what virtue means? Virtue is from the Latin word virtus, meaning valor, excellence, or worth. It refers to habits to do what is good, while vice would be the opposite. The foundational virtues are prudence, justice, courage, and moderation. Many other virtues emanate from these four; for example, goodness, integrity, dignity, honor, decency, worthiness, purity, and more.
How do we acquire virtue? It’s simple, but not easy. Practice! Practice the virtues you want to acquire.